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Citizen Archivist Dashboard in the Making

Photo: archives.gov

The National Archives and Records Administration reportedly has plans to launch a Citizen Archivist Dashboard where volunteers will be able to transcribe, tag and post articles about scanned NARA documents, according to Pamela Wright, the agency’s chief digital access strategist.

According to a report from NextGov, the dashboard is set to launch in December and will be initially comprised of about 300 documents for transcription. Wright’s comments were made Friday before a government panel on social media.

The transcription page will include interfaces with the original document on one screen and the transcribed on another. The page will also feature a magnifying glass tool to better examine the documents.

Additionally, volunteers will be able to tag both words and imaged in the Archive’s massive scanned image collection, which will make the documents more searchable, Wright said.

Wright also said that the tagging feature that was previously launched this summer has received thousands of tags.

The hope is that the dashboard will draw in a larger audience, including specialists in historical fields. However, Wright expects that most of the participants will be regular citizens.

In accord with this effort, there has been an additional effort transcribe NARA documents into searchable text on Wikisource. Nearly 90,000 have already made an appearance on Wikimedia Commons.

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